Monday, September 27, 2010

Know Your Laureate of African Origin Part I

Albert Camus, Nobel Laureate 1957
Beginning today, I would profiling Nobel Laureates of African descent every Monday. Since there aren't many of them this postings would last all through October, unless new events come in. 

Profile
Today we talk about Albert Camus. Camus (November 7, 1913 to January 4, 1960) is the first Nobel Laureate in Literature of African descent. He is a French Algerian Author, Philosopher and Journalist. His biography at the Nobel website states that he was a representative of non-metropolitan French literature. His origin in Algeria and his experiences there in the thirties were dominating influences in his thought and work. Of semi-proletarian parents, early attached to intellectual circles of strongly revolutionary tendencies, with a deep interest in Philosophy (only chance prevented him from pursuing a university career in that field), he came to France at the age of twenty-five. 

Camus joined the resistance movement during the occupation and after the liberation was a columnist for the newspaper Combat. He retired from journalism and became active in writing fiction and essays. Similarly, he was also active in the theatre as a producer and a playwright.

Camus' essay The Myth of Sisyphus, 1942, expounds his notion of the absurd and of its acceptance with "the total absence of hope, which has nothing to do with despair, a continual refusal, which must not be confused with renouncement - and a conscious dissatisfaction".

"We refuse to despair of mankind. Without having the unreasonable ambition to save men, we still want to serve them"--Camus.

Camus was awarded the Nobel in 1957 but died less than three years later in a car accident, aged forty-six.

Oeuvre
Novels
  • The Stranger (1942)
  • The Plague (1947)
  • The Fall (1956)
  • A Happy Death (1971, posthumously)
  • The First Man (1995, posthumously)

Short Stories Collections
  • Exile and the Kingdom (collection) (1957)
  • The Adulterous Woman (1937)
  • The Renegade or a Confused Spirit
  • The Silent Man
  • The Guest
  • Jonas or the Artist at Work
  • The Growing Stone
Non-Fiction Books
  • Betwixt and Between (Collection, 1937)
  • Nuptials (1938)
  • The Myth of Sisyphus (1942)
  • The Rebel (1951)
  • Notebooks 1935-1942 (1962)
  • Notebooks 1943-1951 (1965)
  • Notebooks 1951-1959 (2008)

Essays
  • Create Dangerously (Essay on Realism and Artistic Creation) (1957)
  • The Ancient Greek Tragedy (1956)
  • The Crisis Man (1946)
  • Why Spain (1948)
  • Reflections on the Guillotine (Extended Essay 1957)
  • Neither Victim Nor Executioners (1946)
Plays
  • Caligula (Written 1938, performed 1945)
  • Requiem for a Nun (1956)
  • The Misunderstanding (1944)
  • The State of Siege (1948)
  • The Just Assassins (1949)
  • The Possessed (1959)
Collections
  • Resistance, Rebellion and Death (1961- ) a collection of Essays Selected by the author
  • Lyrical and Critical Essays (1970)
  • Youthful Writings (1976)
  • Between Hell and Reason: Essays from Resistance Newspaper "Combat", 1944-1947 (1991)
  • Camus at "Combat": writing 1944-1947 (2001)
Read about Albert Camus here and there.

8 comments:

  1. Hey! I read his nvel, The Palque and it blew my mind away. Good to know he is an african descent.

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  2. Haven't yet read anything from him. Learnt about him not long ago. Would read him soon.

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  3. I haven't read anything by this author so I really must check him out. I love this idea of profiling the laureates Nana!

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  4. Nice! I read some Camus in high school but he's kind of heavy for my everyday reading! Amazing writer though! I didn't know he was Algerian so there you go.

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  5. Hi Marie, nice to know you have read him. I would look for him to read.

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  6. Interesting that the Nobel website considers him an African writer. He came from a Pied-Noir settler family, that is to say French colonizers who settled in Algeria before 1962. He is kind of in between the two continents.
    I've read passages from his novels at school. It's true that it blows your mind away.

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  7. Thanks Stefania for your comments. I am yet to read him. Hope he blows away my mind too.

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